by DAVID TRIGG
Annie Morris (b1978, London) takes great delight in process and materials. From the roughly hewn surfaces of her colourful sculptures to her scribbly oil-stick drawings and assiduously sewn tapestries, she is always pushing for more vibrancy and increased vitality. Informed by personal experience, memory and the subconscious, her works crowd the north London studio that she shares with her husband and fellow artist Idris Khan. Most prominent are her precarious-looking Stack sculptures. These signature works comprise irregular spheres placed one on top of the other. Varying in size, scale and colour, they appear like columns of delicately balanced boulders. Yet beneath their jubilant appearance lies a sombre undercurrent: the series began after Morris and Khan suffered the loss of their first child to stillbirth. For Morris, the Stacks are defiant, standing tall against the odds. Operating as metaphors for hope, each one suggests the possibility of surmounting the insurmountable in the face of life’s fragility.
Annie Morris, Copper Blue, 2020. Foam core, pigment, concrete, steel, sand and plaster. Photo © Stephen White & Co.
“When you go through something immense you find out what’s within you,” Morris reflected. “We’re born and we’re here for such a short time—it all goes by so quickly. We all experience grief, it’s all around us—it’s hard to close your eyes to it, it is there, hovering in front of you—we try to ward it off but we have to deal with it. I wanted to create something that was the opposite—a world, a journey that takes you away from that.”